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The Main Street Mile
Falmouth, MA, September 7, 2003
Simpson and Bohlke Win 20th Annual Main Street Mile
by Courtney Bird
Chris Simpson and Joan Bohlke, both of Somerville and teammates in the Greater Boston Track Club, captured top honors in the men's and women's divisions in Sunday's Main Street Mile. Simpson, a former standout at Falmouth High, ran 4:35.5 to beat a field of 288 runners over a point-to-point course that begins at the Village Green and ends at the Gus Canty Recreation Center. Bohlke, a 2001 graduate of Providence College where she excelled in track, covered the mile course in 5:24.6, which placed her first among the women and ninth overall.
Simpson, who has run this race several times before, finished 19 seconds ahead of North Falmouth's Brian Nelson (4:54.6). Finishing third was Justin Ladner of Falmouth in a time of 4:58.3. On the women's side, second place honors went to Jen Skiba of Falmouth (5:38.3), and Wendy Stafford, also of Falmouth, finished third with a time of 6:00.2.
It was a beautiful late summer day with temperatures in the mid-seventies. The perfect running weather brought out entire families to run the race.
Before the 1:00 pm start of the race, the field assembled on the Village Green where stretching, warm-up jogs, and resting on the grass were the order of the day. About two minutes to 1:00, the runners poured onto the streets on both sides of the Village Green with the faster runners assembling in front of the Congregational Church and the rest of the field on the St. Barnabas side of the green. At 1:00 o'clock, the cannon was fired, and the runners took off down Main Street. Fifteen to twenty minutes later it was all over as the oldest runner in the race, 81 year-old Paul Phinney of Waquoit led the last few runners over the finish line. After the race, the runners gathered on Guv Fuller Field for refreshments, a raffle and age-group awards presented by Race Directors, Steve and Carol Hamel.
Of the 288 runners who registered for the race, 254 finished. Participants ranged in age from 2 to 81, with 175 age 17 or younger. Women made up 47.2% of the field, and there were 69 families who had two or more members participate.
A number of local businesses and organizations sponsored the race including Cape Cod Printing, Cape Cod Sports Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery, Coffee Obsession, Falmouth Bank, the Falmouth Recreation Department, the Falmouth Road Race, Hamilton Tree and Landscape, Howlingbird Studio, Hyannis Marina, John Neill Custom Building and Remodelling, Sherwood Mortgage and Sports Center Physical Therapy.
The Falmouth Track Club stages the Main Street Mile annually to provide scholarships for Falmouth High School students. The Track Club also organizes the Seagull Six Road Race in April, the CompassBank Cape Cod Marathon at the end of October and the weekly Coffee-O five-mile runs held each Friday at 5:30 p.m. Through the club's efforts, it annually donates more than $15,000.00 to local organizations and charities while promoting running as a means to achieve and maintain fitness.